Korea’s first woman foreign minister to lecture on Women’s leadership

Manama, Feb. 4 (BNA): South Korea’s first female foreign minister will deliver a lecture on women’s leadership – the case of Korea on Tuesday.

Kyung Wha Kang will be lecturing on this topic at the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research, in Muharraq on Tuesday at 8 pm.

Kyung-wha Kang is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea.

She served as the 38th and 1st Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea from June 2017 to February 2021. Throughout her career in Seoul, Geneva and New York, she has been an unwavering advocate for the advancement of women.

During her ministerial tenure, Dr. Kang led the ROK’s efforts to win global support for its initiative to engage with North Korea to achieve lasting peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while deepening the country’s diplomatic relations with other regions and countries. During her tenure, she has been actively involved in multilateral discussions on human rights, non-proliferation, peacekeeping, development cooperation, and the response to the Covid19 pandemic.

Dr. Kang joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998, majoring in United Nations affairs. Then she held the position of Deputy Director General for International Organizations and was dispatched to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York in 2001.

Later, Dr. Kang served as Director General of International Organizations in 2005-2006, and tirelessly participated in the negotiations in the United Nations General Assembly on various issues, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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In early 2007, Dr. Kang joined the United Nations after being appointed in late 2006 to the position of Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

According to the Kofi Annan Foundation, she has supported and complemented the leadership of High Commissioners Louise Arbour and Navi Pillay over more than six years in this capacity, on human rights issues.

In April 2013, Dr. Kang was appointed by then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (DERC) and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. Supporting and complementing the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Dr. Kang continued to pay focused attention to vulnerable people and sought to strengthen their presence and voice in the humanitarian and human rights sectors.

After resigning from the DERC position in October 2016, Dr. Kang served as the chair of the transition team for the elected general secretary. Then, as Senior Policy Adviser to Secretary-General António Guterres, she led his initiative to achieve gender parity in his appointments and facilitated discussion on restructuring the peace architecture of the Secretariat.

Dr. Kang graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Diplomacy. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the United States. Her PhD work was in the field of International/Cultural Communication.

Dr. Kang is fluent in Korean and English and speaks basic level French. She is married and has two daughters and a son.

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